tv The O Reilly Factor FOX News December 31, 2009 5:00am-6:00am EST
follow him. thanks for watching fox, where more news is always on the way. good night./shep. "the factor" is next. [captioning made possible by fox news channel] nick nick >> bill: tonight, iran is this far away from getting a nuclear weapon, how are you going to stop them? sarah palin enters the "no spin zone." >> i wasn't running for president. bill: that's the key question. for the next hour you will hear from the former vice presidential candidate about policy, politics, the mainstream media and why saddam hussein she is such a polarizing figure. what is it about you that brings out the strong negative emotions? also later, reaction to our interview with governor palin. >> she came off to me as
immensely likeable. >> caution, you are about to enter the "no spin zone." special edition of "the factor" starts right now. bill: thank you for watching this special edition of "the factor." we will talk to sarah palin about the media attacks against her, barack obama and her run for the vice presidental office. let's bring begin this interview with a phone call you made to my house in late october, 2008. we have been trying to get you on "the factor" for months. do you remember that? >> it was part of that "going rogue" stuff. bill: calling o'reilly at home. i don't know how you got my home number. but you basically said to me, i want to do this show, but why didn't you do it? >> we ended up not doing the
show unfortunately, but reaching out to you and others who i believe would report fairly and objectively. wanted to talk to you guys. bill: we couldn't figure it out because "the factor" is the biggest cable program with the most people watching. were we fair to you? >> very fair. bill: we had trouble getting senator mccain. >> the media strategy was perplexing at least on the vice presidential side of the ticket and not understanding where we were going with the relationships with the media. it was an indication of maybe some things in our campaign being out of touch with the normal every day average american who want todd truly connect with the candidate. but i'm glad to be here today. bill: you wanted to be on the program. you wanted to be on "the factor" during the campaign and believed you. why would you bother taking time out of your busy to call me if
that weren't the case? >> had we reached out and had more of a connection via different media personalities. bill: it's fair to say you were overcontrolled by the mccain people. >> they were the experts. they had run national campaigns before and of course i had never been a participant in anything larger than a state campaign. so obviously having to put a little of faith in their strategy and not having a whole lot of say in the immediate rollout. bill: why didn't you say i'm doing "o'reilly." >> i was more asserttive and it was called going rogue and that being leaked to the press, which was unfortunate. but at this point, it's water under the bridge, though. there were mistakes being made in the campaign. i made mistakes in the campaign. i acknowledge that. and i think more of a concern has been not within the campaign
the mistakes that were made, not being able to react to the circumstances that those mistakes created in a real positive and professional and helpful way for john mccain. bill: let's talk about the senator. was he accessible? >> absolutely. he still is. bill: did you tell him, i'm having trouble with some of your people? >> i never bad mouthed them. bill: why not? >> senator mccain was working with those operatives. bill: you are frustrated and you're not seeing their vision. don't you think you should have gone to the presidential candidate and saying they are mismanaging me? >> not necessarily. not burdenening the candidate out there every day putting it on the line for voters to understand what our ticket had to offer. bill: i would have done that. >> well, again, hindsight.
but i think it was obvious to everyone within the campaign that things weren't going well. bill: you guys could have won the election, i think -- look, the press was against you, we all know that. bush had a lot of trouble and that hurt the republican ticket, we know that. but it was close. john mccain -- did he ever scold you after the couric interview and say, sarah, you have to elevate your campaign? >> he was encouraging and supportive. bill: the two signature moments that got you in trouble, with all due respect, governor, were the gibson interview when he looked down at you and said -- >> do you agree with the bush doctrine? bill: when i heard that, i said what bush doctrine? >> i said, so did i. >> in what respect, charlie? >> what do you interpret it to be? >> the world view.
>> it was announced in september, 2002. bill: do you think he did that to demean you and make you look stupid. >> those are the gotcha techniques in the mainstream now the lame stream media. bill: gibson's not like that. >> had he explained the context of the questions he was asking, probably could have answered it. bill: that was a signature moment and it hurt gibson said that's not fair. couric asked you an easy question and you booted it, governor. >> i sure did. >> what newspapers and magazines did you regularly read before you were tapped for this to stay informed? >> i've read most of them with a great appreciation. >> like what ones specifically? >> all of them. bill: if somebody would ask,
what do you read, "new york times," washington journal, noast. you couldn't do it. >> of course i do. bill: why didn't you? >> it's ridiculous to tell people. it was relatively early in that multi-segmented interview with couric and it was quite obvious that it was going to be quite a bit annoying interview. it seemed to me she didn't know anything about alaska, about my job as governor, about my accomplishments as mayor or governor or my record and a question like that, though, yeah, i booted it and screwed up and should have been more gracious in my answer. it seemed to me the question was more along the lines, do you read. bill: that was your inexperience that led to that exchange with couric? >> insbrens in having to deal with a badgering, condescending
line of questioning. it had no reflection at all on on my inexperience in terms of administrative record. bill: no. just handling the media. >> yeah. and so what? so i wasn't -- bill: it hurt you, though. >> so i wasn't doing the right thing to make them like me. so what? most normal americans were put in the same position, they would probably look at her have that eye roll and say are you kidding, are you suggesting i don't read? bill: that led to the mccain people saying we can't trust her out there because she booted that and that's where you lost credibility among them. i understand what you're saying and i spoke to couric and she said she wasn't out to get you. in your book, you feel she was out to get you. >> i let the transcript speak
for itself if she had any kind of bias. bill: it's different than gibson. >> i think she was out to get, if you will, anyone who didn't believe in her perspective. it's not like she was going to get in there and be i think unbias, objective and fair. but it is my mistake and it was my inexperience in dealing with the media elite in my response, a very annoyed response to a very annoying question. bill: you're bad. >> it was a mistake. bill: coming next, was the governor surprised by the media governor surprised by the media attacks after her speech at the show and tell...
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bill: continuing with our conversation with governor palin. her book "going rogue" is a huge seller and has huge admirers despite the media assault against her. i was in minneapolis watching your speech when you were nominated. it was lights-out speech. >> the difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull? lipstick. bill: did you know after you gave that speech that the media was going to hammer you? did you have any idea that they were going to come after you the
way they have? >> i thought they were going to come after me getting a d in a college course. that was the controversy in my world. once the media finds that out, then -- bill: you didn't know they were going to come after you? >> no. had the campaign known, they would have had a binderful of information. bill: can i say something bold and fresh? >> please. >> you are a pro-life and pro-gun woman you didn't think the elite was going to put a target on your forehead? >> i didn't anticipate that. and evidently those running the campaign didn't anticipate it either. but, you know, they did what they did, but i'm here where i am today a meeting. we plowed through a lot of that stuff they threw our way, the
darts and arrows. i'm still standing and here with bill o'reilly. bill: ok. so you and the campaign were unprepared for the vitriole. when i watched you on that stage, i said here's a regular person. which i think your a regular person. here's a regular person, now could be vice president of the united states. those pinheads back in new york and d.c. they aren't going to for you primarily because of the pro-life stuff. >> how would we know the extent it would have made manifest their disdain for the normal american and i'm a normal american and when it comes to my pro-life views there are more americans who understand the sanctity of life for the first time in decades i have -- i believe it is.
bill: the latest poll has 23% favorable, 37% don't know. you do the math and up at 60% of people who could like you. you are the biggest threat because you are a star, media star, you are the only republican. no others are media stars but you. that's why they are attacking you. do you know that? >> i don't know why they are attacking me. bill: you're a threat. >> whatever. i do know, though that you are spot on when you say perhaps they fear what you are suggesting is a voice being heard that's coming from the heartland of america and i say that figuratively and literally. bill: you know what they're calling you now? evita perone.
>> the liberal media is going to do what they are going to do. not a personal attack on me, but they are saying enough is enough. there is no longer a mainstream media that can be trusted to be objective and fair and balanced. people are getting their information -- bill: that's why fox does so well. what was the worst personal attack on you? >> the attacks that that trigg should never been born. should never been born. that was harmful and hurtful. but the personal attacks, too. that is something we dealt with and plowed through it. there were practical things that took place that i wrote about in the book that were extremely disconcerting and disruptive in the campaign like my personal
emails being hacked into and broadcast. bill: good thing you didn't say anything scandalous. >> it was like a modern-time break-in. bill: that's watergate-like. david letterman, were you mad he made those jokes? >> my reaction of a reporter who asked me about my 14-year-old daughter being pregnant by a baseball player. and my reaction was, i thought it was atrocious and wasn't funny. and i think the spin was i was absolutely outraged and gave me an opportunity to say that that humor is outand igeous. a degand iding comment about a young woman and i hope people start rising up in deciding it's not acceptable.
bill: if letterman invited you on to plug the book, would you go? >> i wouldn't want to boost his and itings and participate in t. bill: interesting. oprah asked you about levi johnston. i wouldn't answer questions about him. >> you guys ask. how do you pivot away from questions that aren't necessarily true and aren't very nice about one of my children and my family. bill: i would say he's the father of my grandchild and i want a very loving relationship in our family, but i'm not going to say anything more? >> i will say that, but at the same time, after a year of getting clobbered by the media, capitalizing on people who will mt wae things up, there does co a time in my momma's heart where
bill: this time we talked public policy and we begin with the president. president obama, you said -- somebody asked you give him a grade and gave him a four out of 10. >> how do you and ite barack ob? >> a four. a lot of decisions that i and the majority of americans aren't impre qed with right now. bill: you don't think he is whing a goodettob?
>> in national security, there are questionable actions that i believe weakens our country. bill: what is he doing wrong? >> gitmo. we decide we are going to close gitmo without a security plan. going to bring muhammad over here and create this circus atmosphere over here and try this terrorist in our court system that is reserved under our constitution for american citizens to have their rights exercised. bill: i agree. if you had to ill sose guantana bay for p.r. purposes, i can put him in alaska. i would put him up there and build a prison and see how they like it up there. >> we do have a vacated base up there where -- but, hey, let's
this, my answer to you is well, his actions speak louder than words. bill: did you ever talk to obama and spoke to him in any extent. >> i met him twice. bill: just hi, how are you? you think he's smart? >> i think he is very smart. bill: honest? >> he has told us some things in the campaign, and told us some things early on in his presidency that have not come to fruition. he was all about positive change and i and i think a lot of americans are believing that the change that he is ushering in isn't necessarily positive. bill: and you are a conservative. >> positive in terms of creating debt for our children. bill: you know what the arguments are. he says that a lot of americans
can't afford health insurance and the insurance companies are out of control and that's why i'm doing what i'm doing. >> let's get the health care problems under control then but let's use free market, results- earnted,. getting rid of the waste and fraud, we could pay for this. bill: he says he is going to get rid of the waste and fraud. one of the amazing points in your book, you wanted to get reverend wright right up there and ram it down barack obama's throat. why? >> i don't believe it's negative campaigning or off base to call someone out on their associations and reverend write was a close sosh of barack obama for 20 years. bill: what's wrong with him? >> anyone who says god damn america, there is something
wrong. bill: do you believe when he says he didn't know he was that radical. >> being in the pew for over 20 years something would have come from the pulpit that didn't quite sound right for america. maybe he happened to miss those particular sermons. bill: you look a little skeptical. >> my point is in, the campaign i wanted to talk about the associates and past voting record and the experience, the 150 days in the u.s. senate, building this foundation of experience. i wanted to talk about things like that. but we didn't, and i think there was some unfairness again to the elect rate. bill: they told you not to bring up reverend write because mccain didn't want to do it and you said to them what? >> well, i said that i would want to talk about it. bill: but you didn't make it a crushing point.
i would have grabbed mccain's tie and pulled him over and said, you got to do this. >> and i'm going to give mccain some respect on this one, too. what i did in the rallies and up there at a podium, i put it, this empowerment in the hands of the voters, of the people who were there and who were watching and i said it's not off base to call a candidate out on their record and associatings and it's not negative campaigning. bill: it's stunning that you wanted to do it and the mccain people said you couldn't do it and that might have -- particularly in places like pennsylvania, made a difference because reverend write is a very controversial guy. one more question about president obama. a lot of people are very nervous about him now. he's not having a good time in the white house now. you pointed out his lack of experience. you don't have that much
experience. you walked away from the governorship after 2 1/2 years. >> going into my lame duck session, fourth legislative session i decided not to run again and not putting our residents through a lame duck session. bill: why are you criticizing barack obama on experience? >> i would put up my experience against his. i got elected to local office in 1992 and was a city manager, mayor, chief executive of the state, oil and gas regulator. there was good experience there that could have been put to use. i wasn't running for president. bill: that's the key question because john mccain is up there in years, you had to be qualified to take that office over. >> i was running for vice president just like joe biden
had been running for vice president. i never heard you question joe biden and his experience. bill: he has a lot of experience. do you believe that you are smart enough, insice i have enough, intellectual enough to handle the most powerful job in the world? >> i believe that i am because i have common sense and i believe the values that are reflecttive of so many other american values and i believe what americans are seeking is not the eliteism, kind of a spineless -- a spineless mess that perhaps is made up for that with some kind of elite, ivy league education and a fat resume that's based on anything but hard work and private sector, free enterprise principles. americans -- could be seeking something like that in positive change in their leadership.
2012 to run for president whether in the republican party or independent party. and i'm going to interview you then and say look, iran is this far away from getting a nuclear weapon, this far away. how are you going to stop them? >> let's start considering the sanctions that we should have been applying in this past year. cutting off their imports of refined petroleum products. bill: a naval blockade? >> we need to discuss it and work with our allies, france and britain. bill: they are already on board. >> they are on board with what? bill: they are on board with economic sanctions against iran. do you know the country that's causing all the trouble here? >> we have to question russia's commitment. bill: russia will not stop gas going in. the embargo means nothing.
putin says i'm not helping you out unless you give me the sphere of europe. >> we are the superpower of the world. bill: how do you do that? putin doesn't care. >> he has relationships with these other countries also. we have to show the support for each one of our allies. with israel, we can't get into israel and say we're going to tell you whether the jewish community can expand or not expand within your borders. what we need to do is tell israel that we will go to bat for them. bill: say netanyahu says i'm bombing iran, they're too close, i'm not going to let it happen. do you say, go bomb them? >> a war strike is the absolute last option. bill: he's saying to you, you guys aren't going to be able to stop them.
>> we can't let the world get to the place that you're talking about. bill: we are there now. >> no, we're not. we have to ex earth the pressure. bill: obama says he is doing all that. >> he is bowing that. bill: you mean the japanese emimportantor? you think he is weak abroad? >> his approach to diplomacy is not what history has shown us works. what works in my mind reading the history books is what reagan did and that was to let the rest of the world now that america can be independent in a sense and that we have the resources so we won't be reliant on other countries. what reagan did was the right thing. he boiled it down to this. he looked at our enemies and he said, we win, you lose. that's what i want to see and
hear from our new administration, from president obama. bill: that's what bush did and it got him into all kinds of trouble because the world didn't like the bush doctrine, unilateral action. he crippled al qaeda. he crippled al qaeda, but in the process, got us bogged down in iraq and got world opinion against the u.s.a. >> president bush and his policies kept our home land safe after 9/11 and we need to learn about the policies he implemented there too and i would like obama to acknowledge bush was successful in that arena. i would like to see a shift from this 9/10 policy that obama is perhaps embracing and look at the 9/12. bill: that's what you would do? but obama isn't going to do that. afghanistan, the u.s. ambassador says don't send in the 40,000
troops, this is such a corrupt place. obama doesn't know what to do. we think he's going to send troops in. but he has been 17 weeks now. a lot of people think you cannot win in afghanistan. you cannot impose democracy on that nation. >> it's going to be so tough but iraq was tough, too. when the final surge was implemented, we started to see the victorious steps taken in iraq. let's see that in afghanistan. conditions are different in afghanistan, but obama asked back in march a new strategy. he tasked mcchrystal with coming up -- he found the strategy and all these months later, obama hasn't been able to make up his mind in terms of our commitment to victory in afghanistan. bill: do you think it's possible for victory in afghanistan? >> it has to be. we have got to be victorious in afghanistan or else the
terrorist cells are going to grow. what is al qaeda's goal? they want to destroy america. that's what al qaeda is for, is for that. bill: if you have a corrupt afghan government that the people don't support, no matter how many troops you send in there, it's not going to work, that's the problem. the karzai government is a bunch of corrupt people. >> karzai is an imperfect leader. we need to be working with him. we have no choice. we have got to win in afghanistan. we have to send the reinforcements. and i say this as a mom of an infantryman who could end up over there which scares me. of course i know that for the future of our world, we have got to get rid of the terrorists over there and not allow cells to grow. bill: the al qaeda leadership still hiding in pakistan. do you go in there and get them? >> there are encouraging steps taken in pakistan where
internally they are cracking down on the terrorists within. that is some progress we have been hoping for for quite some time. bill: china. we can't do anything to china, because they prop up our economy. they yelled at obama when he went over there, u.s. dollar going down the drain. are you comfortable with china owning $1 trillion of u.s. policy? >> it's allowing china to own so much of america. bill: free enterprise. they have the money and can buy it. >> what isn't right is we're continuing to grow our debt, continuing to allow this situation that we're in where we are beholden to china and others. we can't blame them for the problems we are causing ourselves by spending too much money and growing government. bill: and coming up, more with governor palin, the hateful attacks she has endured. we'll talk to her about them in
in my lifetime. what is it about sarah palin that makes some americans, primarily on the left but you have been hammered on the right, too. you have heard david brooks of the "new york times" say, she's a joke. what is it about you that brings out these strong negative emotions? >> if there is a threat at all that perhaps i represent, it is that the average every day, hard-working american, their voice is going to be heard and what our voice is saying right now, we're telling the federal government and we are telling the elite who think they can and should call the shots for all the rest of us, trust us and that we know what our federal government's role is supposed to be in our lives. bill: that doesn't offend me. >> that's why it's perplexing as to why i would be --
bill: you are sincere you don't know why you are the lightening rod? >> because i'm representing a normal american. bill: why don't the "new york times" like normal americans? why do they have disdain for the regular folks? >> i think obviously they wanting so much control over our lives, i think perhaps there is a little bit of threat there that the average american is going to rise up and our voice is going to be louder and louder and we're going to tell our government, no, we expect you to work for us, we aren't going to work for you. we expect things to turn around quite quickly even if that means the elite aren't going to be in control anymore, i'm talking about those in the media and bureaucracy calling the shots for us. the tea party movement is beautiful and i think it is empowering for so many of us to be watching what is going on where we're saying, that's me.
i think it's beautiful what is going on and perhaps that is threatening to those who don't want to cede any control. bill: but what i get from talking to you that you, sarah palin, want to lead that moment. you want to lead it. >> i do not need a title and i don't have to be the one to lead it. bill: no spin, you want to lead that populous movement. i can see it in your eyes, you want it. >> i'm willing to assist. i know in my heart and soul that the experiences that i have gone through, i believe that kind of what's all been put together in my life can benefit the average, every day, hard-working american, because i have been where they are. i'm experiencing what they're experiencing. and i'm willing to assist, but again, i don't have to be the top dog. bill: weren't you happier as a
regular mayor of what silla, alaska, go out, have fun at night, no controversy, do your job, raise your kids? weren't you a happier person than you are now? >> i'm a very happy person now because i'm doing what i want to do and i'm as normal now as i was back then when i was the mayor of wasills, still raising my kids, going to hockey games and hunting and teaching my kids to be good citizens. i'm the same person today as i was then minus, i guess, a little bit of the spotlight. bill: all those expensive clothes and everything -- >> right. bill: i appreciate you coming in and read the book and i recommend it and i recommend it. a normal person like you can rise up to be where you are now.
it's a great american story. >> i appreciate that and i want people to read my book and see my record. know what it is that i stand for and judge me on that. it's not just the 68 days of the vice presidential campaign but about a record in local office and then statewide office that was built upon commonsense solutions plugged in for the people i was serving and never forget inthat it was an honored position i was given as an elected official. and then if they still think i'm controversial and whoever that dude is, brooks, then so be it. but read in my own words who i am what i stand for. don't believe the things that are made up. bill: in a moment, reaction from many on the o'reilly-palin interview including bernie
bill: welcome back to this special edition of the "the factor." how did sarah palin do in the "no spin zone" and how did i do? we had a lot reaction beginning with our body language expert. do you believe that you are capable, could do the job of the president of the united states? >> i believe that i am but that's not to say that i'm putting myself out there. bill: but you believe that you are smart enough, incisive enough, intellectual enough to handle the most powerful job in
the world? you believe that? >> i believe that i am because i have common sense and i believe i have the values that are reflecttive of so many other american values. bill: here is our body language expert. what was your impression? >> interestingly enough, i thought she was intimidated by you and i have seen her in a few different interviews recently and here's there's not much movement. she seems serious and a few ducks and i thought that was showing her intimidation. when you ask her, look at that tight lip, see that, that's fear, anxiety. bill: really? >> when you start speaking to her, you start off and point your hand at her. when you lean in initially and your thumb goes down, thumb goes down and what that tells me you were trying to come across as an interview and not an interrogation.
those are the different dynamics. bill: i didn't want to show her my thumb? >> you didn't go like, hey. bill: i tried to be respectful and so many have given her a hard time. >> see the thumb. bill: the thumb is down. i didn't want it to be a cupcake interview. i thought she was relaxed. >> i saw another show the other day and there was a different demeaner. here, she was very guarded. bill: she didn't control this interview and did control other interviews. i think that's what you're seeing. she controlled those interviews. she didn't control this. >> when you were asking her, i saw her duck that question. bill: what did you think? >> my first reaction was when she mentioned the mainstream
media, she said my friend bernie came up with that. beyond that, as an overall reaction, people who watched and didn't like sarah palin going into the interview are not going to like her coming out of the interview. and people who are big fans going into the interview are going to be big fans coming out of the interview. the big question is those people who aren't sure about how they feel about sarah palin. bill: 37%. >> 37%. and i must say and let me be very clear. i have never endorsed sarah palin's politics or never endorsed her for anything either privately or publicly. she came off to me as immensely likeable. whether or not she came off as presidential, that is another matter all together. bill: in body language, our expert said that the governor was a bit intimidated by me. i didn't see that. did you see any of that?
>> no, i didn't see an ounce of that. as a matter of fact, i thought when you asked her about the couric interview, if she was going to be intimidated, i'm glad that you said you booted it and i'm glad that she manned up, if i could put it that way and acknowledge that she booted it. i think the question, what newspapers do you read is a fairly easy question and should have answered it. i agree with sarah palin when the real question was do you read anything. she should have answered the question and b, she should have said, while we're on the subject, i'm curious, what newspapers and magazines do you read? do you read "the weekly standard"?
bill: all right. let's have more reaction to the sarah palin interview. you are a liberal woman and she is a conservative woman, so you give her a grade so far, a to f, grade the interview so far. >> i have to say i'm going to give you a b for asking questions that weren't about levi and bristol and her family and her husband. but i would have to say for her, oh, i don't want to be mean but bill, i wouldn't give
her high points because i felt in true politician form she dodged almost every question that you asked her when she was answering you. she wasn't being specific with her answers and she wasn't giving you alternatives to what -- bill: give me an example because i didn't get the feeling she was dodging. i thought she engaged the question. you may not like the answer. give me one question you think she dodged. >> well, i think she dodged iran, for example. first of all, it frightened me she didn't seem to know france and great britain were onboard with sanctions against iran. i'm glad she knew russia was the problem. i agree with you on putin and afghanistan. i didn't have a alternative or hear a plan from someone that perhaps might be running for and looking to me and others in america to be an elected leader of the free world, to lead this nation. bill: you thought she was too general. ok. i think that's a valid criticism. but nobody else has any idea -- and i'm not making an excuse for the governor, but look,
obama didn't have any solution in afghanistan. he doesn't have any solution to iraq. so you know, to be fair, if you're going to say governor palin didn't have any solution, our president of the united states doesn't have any solution. so i don't know what the beef is other than maybe sarah palin should have one but, you know, what say you? obama doesn't have one. >> well, i think for me, at least, and i think a lot of americans agree with me, certainly many will disagree with me, too. we have to have something more concrete. bill: i agree with that. >> people say pay off the taliban in afghanistan. bill: we should have absolutely the most specific policy to win in afghanistan and prevent a nuclear iraq but we don't. and that is it for us today. we hope you've enjoyed this special edition of "the factor." we continue 24/7 on billoreilly.com. check it out. i am bill o'reilly. we hope to see you next time. remember the spin stops right here because we're definitely looking out for you.
alisyn: good morning, everyone. happy new year's eve. it's 31st. we begin with a fox news alert for you. because radio talk show host rush limbaugh is in the hospital this morning after being rushed there having chest pain. paramedics taking him from his vacation in hawaii. we have an update on his condition for you soon. >> also the white house firing back at one of its harshest critics former vice president dick cheney about how it handled the christmas day attempt to blow up an airliner. we will hear from both sides this morning. clayton: a big happy new years to auckland, new zealand